The concentration camp of Ljubelj, near the border with Austria, was the only concentration camp in Slovenia during the dark period of the World War II.
The location of the camp of Ljubelj is in close relation with the current tunnel that goes across the Karavanke mountain, which makes travel easier between Austria and Slovenia.
The camp of Ljubelj was first established in 1941 by civilians who started the initial work of the tunnel, but later on, it was burned down by the 2nd Kokra Battalion, stopping the work.
A new camp, active from 1942 to 1945, was build to resume the work of the tunnel. Many civilians were employed, some were volunteers, others were forced. Political prisoners, criminals, rebels started to arrive in the camp of Ljubelj in March 1943 and it became a concentration camp, an extermination camp, a labor camp…
Prisoners were from various nationalities: French, Pole, Russian, Yugoslavs and more. They were exposed to cruel beating, making them unable to work on the tunnel. The incapacitated ones were sent to Mauthausen to die.
The civilian workers, who were recruited from the surrounding regions, were forbidden to have any contacts with the prisoners. Somehow, they still managed to smuggle packages and cigarettes and exchange information.
On May 5th, 1945, the prisoners were freed by allies, marking the end of the concentration camp of Ljubelj.
A memorial statue, by Boris Kobe, showing the suffering of the victims during the activity of the concentration camp of Ljubelj: J’ACCUSE – I ACCUSE.
In the nearby Gostišče Koren, there is an exhibition room with the personal items of the victims.
Drive 15 minutes from Tržič, toward Austria/Ljubelj.